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Hamilton school boards report 41 COVID cases in second week after classrooms reopen

·2 min read

Hamilton schools reported 41 COVID-19 cases and three outbreaks in the second week after the return to in-person learning.

School boards reported 10 cases of the virus the previous week.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, which has a student population of approximately 50,000, reported 17 cases — 16 students and one staff — between Feb. 15 and 21.

Two of those cases were at A.M. Cunningham Elementary School in central Hamilton, where an outbreak was declared on Feb. 17.

Dundas Valley Secondary School reported three cases of the virus in students. South Meadow Elementary School, Cathy Wever Elementary School and Sherwood Secondary School each reported two student cases.

Student cases were also reported at Ancaster Meadow Elementary School, Greensville Elementary School, Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School, Saltfleet District High School and in the remote learning program.

A staff case was reported at Queen Mary Elementary School on Feb. 17.

In the same week, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, which serves approximately 29,000 students, reported 24 cases of the virus — 13 students and 10 staff and one “third-party employee.”

Nine of those cases were reported at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Elementary School on the west Mountain, where an outbreak was declared on Feb. 17. The west Mountain school is closed to in-person learning until March 1 as a result of the outbreak.

COVID-19 testing was offered to all staff and students at St. Teresa of Avila on Saturday. The HWCDSB said 60 tests were conducted — 23 PCR tests among those self-isolating and 37 rapid tests for other staff and students. The board said all 37 rapid tests came back negative, and that it is still waiting on the PCR test results.

Three staff cases have been reported at St. Ann Catholic Elementary School in central Hamilton, which has been in outbreak since Feb. 18.

The Catholic board reported four cases — all students — of the virus at St. Mark Catholic Elementary School in Stoney Creek.

St. Eugene, St. Agnes, Annunciation of Our Lord, Bishop Tonnos, St. Joachim, Regina Mundi/St. Ann Ancaster, Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Jean de Brébeuf each reported a case of the virus.

Schools in Hamilton reopened for in-person learning on Feb. 8 with enhanced health and safety measures in place after weeks of remote learning.

Since the return to in-person learning, there have been 51 cases and three outbreaks at school boards in Hamilton.

Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator